The third chapter of UNC-Duke proved to be a wildly entertaining affair up in Brooklyn; in the rubber match, North Carolina proved victorious, 74-69. A late Duke-run, keyed by Gary Trent, made it interesting as UNC blow a double-digit second half lead.
One quick key to the game: The passing of the Tar Heels.
UNC made 28 field goals on 71 attempts (39.4 FG%), and assisted on 24 (tied for the fourth most in a game this season) of those makes. That translates to an outstanding assist rate of 85.7 percent, which is the third highest percentage for UNC in a game this season.
Point to the passer’s passer — seriously
According to STATS LLC tracking data, North Carolina completed 339 passes against the Blue Devils; point guard Joel Berry led the way in that category with 95 passes — six of which turned into assists. Theo Pinson, active one again in the middle of Duke’s 2-3 zone, led the Heels with seven assists.
But wait, there’s more! Not only did UNC have 24 assists, the Tar Heels also recorded 17 secondary assists, per STATS LLC. Secondary assists are essentially hockey assists — the pass that leads to the assist. Once again, this is simply an incredible rate.
Berry led UNC with five secondary assists; Cameron Johnson checked in at No. 2 with four.
A Saturday night in Brooklyn
Defenses changes, people don’t…or something like that. The win over Duke for UNC sets up a matchup with No. 1 Virginia in the ACC Tournament championship game on Saturday.
The 2-3 zone will be a thing of the past, at least for the time being; the Pack Line defense is up next for the Tar Heels.